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N.L. Inshore Northern Shrimp Quota Holding Its Own

After years of drastic cuts, this year’s much anticipated inshore Northern shrimp quota in fishing area 6 (SFA 6) was quietly announced without much fanfare and the news was actually positive. Not only did inshore fishermen hang on to their quota levels from 2018, but there was a slight bump. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced that the total allowable catch (TAC) in SFA 6 will be increased by 2.6 per cent to 8,960 tonnes to maintain a 10 per cent exploitat...

Patent Issued for N.L. Robotic Snow Crab Processing Unit

Above: CCFI managing director Bob Verge explaining the patented crab butchering technology. Work Continuing on Final Phase of System The first patent has been issued and more are pending for a Newfoundland and Labrador-designed robotic system for butchering snow crab. “The U.S. patent is the first one and we expect it to be patented in other jurisdictions,” said Robert Verge, managing director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) in an interview. “We’re ...

Lobster Season Ends in Southwest Nova

Above: Lobster fishing balloons are loaded onto a truck at the Lower East Pubnico wharf at the end of the LFA 34 lobster season. Kathy Johnson photos It is officially a wrap for the 2018/19 commercial lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia. The season closed in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 33 and 34 on May 31. This is followed by the season end in Bay of Fundy LFAs 36, 37 and 38 on June 29. The LFA 35 fishery closes on July 31. “Overall it was a decent spring,” said Bernie ...

FISH-NL Vows to Fight On

Labour Group Announces it Will be Proceeding with Second Certification Drive Later This Year Earlier this spring, it appeared the death knell was not far off for the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, made a final plea that the upstart labour organization would be shuttered by the end of April and abandon a second attempt at certification unless inshore harvesters stepped up to the plate and paid their ...

Eight-Year Study Shows no Impact on Lobster Abundance, Size or Growth from Aquaculture Operations

An eight-year study of the lobster population in about a one-kilometre radius of a fish farm in waters off Grand Manan Island, N.B. concludes there was no adverse impact on lobster abundance, size or growth from aquaculture operations. The study, conducted between 2008 and 2015, was a condition of a licence for Benson Aquaculture Ltd. and done in collaboration with the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, which coordinated the study. Surveying started before the fish farm opened to ...

GIDC Recommends Substantial Increase in Northern Cod Catches

Above: David Greening Photo The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently reported that the iconic Northern cod stock off eastern Newfoundland appears to be in better shape than initially thought. As a result, the Newfoundland and Labrador Groundfish Industry Development Council (GIDC) recently recommended a substantial catch increase as part of its 2019 proposal to DFO regarding management of the 2J3KL cod stewardship fishery. The Groundfish Advisory Meeting was held on April ...

Cleaning the Oceans: One Tire at a Time

Newfoundland commercial diver Shawn Bath has taken on a very daunting challenge. The Twillingate native is the founder of the Clean Harbours Initiative, a not-for-profit organization aimed at cleaning up the harbours in and around Newfoundland. After diving commercially for 21 years, he noticed the increasing amount of garbage, intentionally or otherwise, littering the bottoms of the harbours and decided to do something about it. The goal of the Clean Harbours Initiative is to remove ...

Fishermen Appear to be Onboard with New TC Safety Regulations

Transport Canada says there is a stable compliance rate within the fishing industry with the Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations that came into force on July 13, 2017. “Since the regulations came into effect, there has been 2,270 inspections of small fishing vessels less than 24.4 metres or 150 gross tonnage (across Canada). A stable compliance rate has been noted, so no penalties have been issued for non-compliance with any of the new requirements of the Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations,...

When You’re in Peril on the High Seas — What Happens Behind the Scenes?

Above: A Canadian Armed Forces CH-149 Cormorant helicopter conducts the rescue of a four-person crew in a 15-metre sailboat about 240 nautical miles southeast of Halifax on December 18, 2018. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Summerside and Glace Bay were sailing home from deployment when the rescue call came in. Photo: © 2018 DND-MDN Canada Something has gone wrong on your vessel in the North Atlantic. The seas are rough, the weather is uncompromising. You call for help over Coast ...

Risks and Risk Management

Fishing vessels are places of work. But they present safety hazards unlike those of most other places of work. They are on water, rather than land and can be a considerable distance from land or other potential sources of shelter or assistance, should they be needed. Vessels react to atmospheric and ocean conditions, moving in different directions as they pitch, roll and yaw. Space on a vessel is expensive, limited and usually well-utilized, often requiring people to live and work in ...